A few days ago, I wrote about Bent Shapes and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing at The Middle East Downstairs. Well, I went to the show last night and I was captivated by a band I had never heard of before. Bent Shapes and CYHSY both put on excellent sets, but Providence-based Arc Iris absolutely stole the show for me.
The five-piece group had everything you could want in a live performance--intense energy, appreciation for performing and incredible talent. As they were setting-up, I was perplexed as to what they might sound like. They brought two keyboards, drums, a stand-up bass, acoustic guitar, lap steel, banjo, trumpet and a trombone to the stage--quite an eclectic combination. Oh, and did I mention that they all dressed in white and had one member doing interpretive tap dancing to the music? They reminded me of some strange Jefferson Starship-meets-Ployphonic Spree hybrid, but with an even more unqiue sound.
I'm still struggling to process/describe what it is exactly that I saw last night, but their sound was something akin to a soul/folk/jazz amalgamation that absolutely blew my mind. They are currently on tour with CYHSY, so if you find that they are coming to a city near you, I implore you: go see this band. They will be well-worth your time.
Their next gig is tonight at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, followed by Metro Gallery in Baltimore. Check their Facebook for more information.
-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)